The Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority Digitizes its Plan Review Process with Bluebeam Revu
Centennial, Colorado, is a picturesque, hilly city located in the Greater Denver Metro area. Centennial has been working with the Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority (SEMSWA) since 2007. SEMSWA was established to provide Stormwater Management services for the City of Centennial and Unincorporated Arapahoe County. These services are essential for the protection, preservation and enhancement of the neighborhoods and communities that SEMSWA serves. As part of Centennial’s land development process, SEMSWA reviews all city drainage reports, grading, erosion and sediment control plans, construction drawings and associated documents to confirm compliance with environmental regulations. In late 2011, the city implemented a new Web portal, enabling consulting engineers to electronically submit permit applications. To capitalize on the benefits of these electronic submittals, in 2012 SEMSWA digitized its own plan-review process. As a result, SEMSWA is now reviewing documents and drawings faster and more efficiently.
SEMSWA’s original paper-based review process was time-consuming and expensive for the applicant and SEMSWA. First, an applicant would submit application documents to the city. If the project necessitated a review, an additional set of paper documents would be submitted and routed to SEMSWA. Each document was reviewed and redlined by hand and then delivered to the city, where the applicant would pick up the redlined copies. If the documents required revisions, the applicant would make changes and resubmit. The review process would then repeat, resulting in more documents needing to be printed, reviewed and delivered.
Since the city was already receiving applications electronically in PDF, SEMSWA saw a huge opportunity to migrate from a paper-based process to an e-plan check process that would enable them to:
- Easily transition to electronic workflows
- Digitally review large format PDF drawings and other documents
- Electronically add markups and comments to PDFs including industry-standard tools such as text, revision clouds, CAD symbols and measurements
After reviewing and testing a number of solutions, SEMSWA chose Bluebeam Revu, a PDF-based markup and collaboration solution for the design and construction industry. Revu is designed to view large format drawings and redline them with easy-to-use, customizable markups.
Using Revu has simplified SEMSWA’s review process. Now when an applicant submits review documents and permit requests, SEMSWA downloads the relevant files from the city’s web portal and opens them directly in Bluebeam. SEMSWA then uses Revu to redline each document with customizable markups specific to the stormwater concerns, including stamps and grading and erosion symbols using Bluebeam’s exclusive Tool Chest. This allows users to save frequently used comments in tool sets for easy reuse. SEMSWA saves these markups so it can easily access them in the future without having to recreate them, as well as share them with other Revu users. After all documents have been thoroughly reviewed, SEMSWA uploads the redlined versions directly to the web portal for final distribution by the city.
By implementing Revu for electronic reviews and submittals, SEMSWA has improved staff efficiency and customer service, increased direct collaboration with applicants, reduced paper usage and saved applicants printing costs. Revu’s Tool Chest has also helped SEMSWA standardize its markups across multiple users, thus improving consistency.
Now that Revu is being used agency-wide to review plans for the City of Centennial, SEMSWA is planning to implement similar digital review processes with other partner agencies within its jurisdiction. Additionally, SEMSWA is exploring the use of other Bluebeam solutions including Bluebeam Studio, Revu’s integrated cloud feature for online file storage and real-time collaboration.